In the United States, 1 in 9 babies is born prematurely, 1 in 10 in Canada. Worldwide, over 15 million babies are born too soon each year. While not all multiples are born prematurely, a multiple birth increases the probability of an early delivery. Babies born prematurely, before 37 weeks gestation, are at a higher risk for health complications in infancy, some of which can have long-term effects. Full-term infants are not all free from their own health complications, of course.
In honor of November’s Prematurity Awareness Month, led by the March of Dimes,How Do You Do It? is focusing this week’s posts on The Moms’ experiences with premature deliveries, NICU stays, health complications, special needs, and how we’ve dealt with these complex issues
Last week at How Do You Do It? a brave bunch of Mum’s of Multiples (MoM’s) shared their stories of premature babies. There are birth stories, NICU stories, stories dealing with pain, and loss.
Please drop by and join the campaign to spread the awareness for prematurity. I have two posts up, the first is my emergency delivery story at 31 weeks gestation in Hong Kong, and the second post is a compilation of SMS’s I sent to Maher, Houda (my mother in law), and my parents from the NICU, updating them on the babies progress.
This is one that Maher wrote as part of a series: Parenting and Practicing Yoga. Against All Odds focussed on the period when our babies were in the NICU.
Thanks for dropping by.
9 years ago today Maher and I got married. In Montreal. We were amidst close family and friends – a party we won’t forget.
There was dancing – from barefoot in the rain with Yerba Buena at the jazz fest, the garba and dandiya raas non-stop night, to the gypsy band “Soleil Tzigane” who used to play Friday and Saturday’s at Cafe Sarajevo, what used to be my hangout while we long distanced. We were thrilled that the musicians accepted to do our reception.
I can’t just grab a photo that represents the occasion from my phone’s camera roll or off FB, our wedding photos are stuffed into a steel box in Chengdu. Hard copy.
4 moves, a few mistakes, a stroke, IVF, NICU time, Leila and Rahul, long distance all over again on, and we continue to sneak moments together, learn about each other, grow in our relationship, listen to each other more intently, accept each other more sincerely, continue to compromise, let go, and love more deeply.
At least that’s what we try to do anyway. And hope for more years together.
“Mama can you tell to papa that I standed on this step, deep deep in the swimming pool?”
“Mama can you tell to papa that I ate all the carrots and tomatoes in the bowl?”
“Mama can you tell to papa that I can jump like a football player, high up in the sky?”
“Mama can you tell to papa that I sit like a big girl in the chair?”
“I’m sad to travel ‘out papa.”
“I like to travel with papa.” (Pouting)
He’s meeting us in NY guys. It’s going to be lots of fun.
Early one morning a couple of weeks ago.
Leila: Where’s papa?
Me: He’s on a plane, going to Houston, in America.
Rahul: Like the pilgrims?
Me: Yah, to America like the pilgrims. But he’s on a plane, not a boat, so he’ll be there by tomorrow.
Leila: Can you be papa?
Me: What do you mean can I be papa?
Leila: Papa talks French. You talk French.
Woah. Oh. Tu veux que je parle en Francais avec vous?
They both look up at me, eyes gleaming. And smile.
Rahul: Papa talks Francais.
Me: D’accord, on peut parler en Francais.
Leila: Papa. Papa, I want to go to Etats Unis.
Me: On va aller aux Etats Unis bientot cherie. T’en fait pas…..
(Ten minutes of French later)
Me: Ok guys, come on, let’s go downstairs for breakfast.
Leila: Nooooo, you are papaaaa…you talk French.
Me: Ah, oui. J’ai oublie.
Rahul: No talk Francais mama. Talk Anglais. Waaaa. You are mama now.
To explain where stories come from, we helped Leila and Rahul make their own mini-books. I transcribed their stories.
Natasha Visits Dr. Leila
Doctor Leila goes for a walk.She goes to the nurse’s house.
The nurse goes to Dr. Leila’s house.
They do a blood test for Natasha.
They check Natasha’s heart. (L and R both demand I draw a heart on this page!)
They heard dook dook, dook dook, dook dook.
Then they checked her lungs.
Dr. Leila and the nurse sent Natasha home.
Natasha became better.
The Dragon and the Princess
Once upon a time there was a princess who was stuck in the dragons cave.
And one dragon said, “Who is here?
The dragons blow fire at her.
She called the prince. He faught the dragons with his sword.
The dragons threw fire on the prince as well.
The dragons left the cave.
Once upon a time there was a dragon and a princess.
The dragon blew fire on the prince and princess.
Then suddenly, the nice fairy appears and fights with the dragon.
And the dragon flew away.
Nemo the Shark
Nemo the shark bites everyone. But he is scared of the dragon.
One day Nemo met the dragon in his house! (R: Mama put an excamashun mark)
The dragon blew fire on Nemo. It hurt a lot. (R: draw a dragon here. Blowing fire. – I managed a dragon
brontosaurus dog with whiskers blowing a sock.)
Malaki Paul is a brave little boy who goes straight to the hearts of the judges and audience at Britain’s Got Talent 2012. He feels what he sings.
Partway through the audition he breaks into tears.
A teary hug from his “best mum in the world,” and he starts his song again, and he sings into everyone’s hearts.
R and L love to watch Malaki. It is our favorite video.
He’s brave,they both say. L and R are almost in tears with him, and then once Malaki is past the climax of the song, the second time round, they light up with the audience and judges.
Mama, he’s a spider! Rahul exclaims. He falls and then he keeps on getting up and up and up!
Rahul and Leila chopping play dough vegetables.
Maher: Qu’est ce que tu cuisine Leila?
Leila: Uhhh, I’m cooking mothika.
Maher: Ah bon. C’est quoi “mothika”?
Leila: Papa, ummm, en francais c’est lita.